Audiobook Review: Whiskey Business (States of Love) by Avon Gale

Ryder Waites will do anything to keep the tiny town of Gallows Grove, Kentucky, from vanishing off the map—even sell his family’s whiskey recipe to Bluegrass Bourbon in Lexington. Hopeful that the larger company can provide necessary improvements to the distillery, Ryder’s ultimate goal is to get Gallows Grove on the Bourbon Trail… and bring in much-needed tourism revenue. But to keep producing Hanged Man Bourbon in Gallows Grove, he’ll have to convince company liaison, unbearably stuffy and seriously hot Adam Keller, that he's worth the investment.

Adam comes from an old-money family, but he’s determined to make his own way in the world. When he’s sent to Gallows Grove, he questions the life choices that led him to a rented room in a funeral home, in a town full of macabre-themed businesses. And he doesn’t know what to make of Ryder, the descendant of bootleggers who’s on a mission to save his strange town from extinction. When Adam and Ryder put aside their initial mistrust, the results are as smooth as good whiskey. But after Adam’s assignment ends, he’ll have to decide if small-town life and a future with Ryder is to his tastes.

Listening Length: 3 hours and 37 minutes
Narrator: Kirt Graves

It's my first Avon Gale and Kirt Graves!

I know, I know, I'm super late. I've read wonderful things about author and narrator. And after reading/listening to Whiskey Business, I can happily say all those wonderful things are accurate.

Gale takes the reader to her home state of Kentucky in this opposites attract romance that features Ryder Waites, a blue collar distiller in love with his macabre small town of Gallow Groves and Adam Keller, uptight businessman extraordinaire.

Ryder sells his family bourbon recipe to Adam's company. Adam's company sends the Kentucky city boy to investigate Hanged Man Bourbon's facilities and town. It was not love at first site, despite each gentleman finding the other hot as fuck.

All the choices I've read so far from the States of Love house line has made sure to feature a US state heavily. This can be said for Whiskey Business. Kentucky was a character in the novella. A little crazy, a lot snarky, some country and all heart. I've never been to this state but I wanted to visit after reading this. Kentucky was the silent partner in the coupledom of Ryder/Adam.

The two start on opposite sides of the fence, but they did share a common goal of Hanged Man Bourbon. And they grew from there with a plucky, quirky small town that accepted both men being gay (no stereotype of homophobe yokels to be found--yay!). Every member of the town added to the snark and sweetness of this low angst story.

Kirt Graves did a great job with the accents. It took me longer to get into what he did with Adam's voice. I know he was making each guy to be as distinct as their character. I mean, the narrator picked up little details to make the characters really stand out. I ended up really liking the entire thing as I listened along.

There is a heavy dose of sexy added to the plot. Ryder is blunt and wants to "bone" Adam, not because he happened to be the only gay guy in his little town. But because they shared a common attraction and it read believable and not forced. The sex (when it happened) was hot. Someone is bossy and the happy bottom out of the pair really liked that. As did I. I could easily see these two having sex anywhere if left alone for too long. Office sex with a bossy britches makes for fun times.

But I must share my one disappoint.

I was almost taken on a one way trip to smut heaven with possible stairway sex...

I was touching the cum filled gates...

And it wasn't meant to be.


Other than that that tease, it was a great time reading/listening. After the Kentucky love, my second favorite thing was the banter and dialogue between Ryder and Adam. There was a nice amount of witty in here. And the puns were cute!

If you're in the mood for something fun and light, with good amount of sexy without it reading like erotica and your a Kentucky fan, definitely give Whiskey Business a try. I recommend it.

This won't be my last Avon Gale!

Trivia Question: Name the MC that must complete a series of tasks laid out by his dead twin sister in order to keep the house & business they built together? 15 pts

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